Death of top Mindanao NPA leader seen to weaken rebel strength

ZAMBOANGA CITY —- The military expects the strength of the New People’s Army (NPA) in Western Mindanao to further dwindle as its long-time leader was killed in a recent clash with government troops in Zamboanga del Norte.

Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade, said Leonido Nabong, 62, succumbed to gunshot wounds after a 45-minute armed encounter in the ZNAC village of Tampilisan town last Nov. 13.

Nicolas said Nabong, who goes by the aliases Baste, Coco, Otic, and Adlay, was deputy secretary of the communist movement’s Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee, which covers Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur province…

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